First Poster For New Grinch Movie Starring Benedict Cumberbatch Debuts

Early last year, it was announced that Illumination – the folks behind Despicable Me and The Secret Lives of Pets – were working on a new animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic How The Grinch Stole Christmas. The announcement came with the reveal of its lead actor, too, telling us that Benedict Cumberbatch will be voicing the eponymous green meanie.

Apart from our first glimpse at Cumberbatch’s iteration of the character back in May, things have gone a bit quiet on The Grinch front since then. Now, though, just in time for the holidays, Illumination has rolled out the first poster for the pic, which arrives next year – and it takes the Grinch in an unexpected direction.

Captioned “He gets meaner,” the poster doesn’t show us the older, grouchier Grinch but rather, the sweet and innocent younger version. With his scarf and big eyes, the Grinch looks downright adorable here and far from the despicable figure he begins the story as.

It seems like the movie will explore how the character became so cold-hearted and anti-Christmas, as opposed to Seuss’ storybook and the beloved 1966 animated film which dispensed with any backstory. Interestingly, the Grinch’s childhood was previously depicted in the live-action movie from 2000, starring Jim Carrey. In that version, he’s ridiculed by the children of Whoville for his appearance, which causes him to turn against them. We’ll have to see if the new film comes up with a different origins story for him or not, but as of now, we’re intrigued.

Of course, Benedict Cumberbatch will be the fifth actor to voice the Grinch on screen. Frankenstein legend Boris Karloff first brought the part to life in the aforementioned TV special, while the character also featured in two other specials – 1977’s Halloween is Grinch Night and 1982’s The Grinch Grinches The Cat in the Hat – where the part was filled by Hans Conreid and Bob Holt, respectively. Then, of course, there’s also the Carrey version we mentioned above.

The Grinch is directed by Peter Candeland and Yarrow Cheney and is set to steal its way into theaters on November 9th, 2018.